Cattle calling

Cattle brought through the streets to graze in the town of Oberstdorf

In Oberstdorf, Germany, we are experiencing the sights, sounds, tastes – and smells – of cows.

The area around the town is perfect for cattle grazing, and the area’s cheese and meat are testament to that.

The flavours are rich and unique. We have enjoyed goulash, veal schnitzel, and calf’s liver, all samples of the area’s beef. We have also enjoyed mountain cheese and local brie, among other cheeses.

We have also enjoyed the sounds of the cowbells. When a farmer’s cattle are separated from each other, and mingled with the herds of other farmers, the bells serve two purposes.

First, they ensure the cows can be found in the mountains. Even the ski hill serves as grazing area in the summer. As we rode the chair lift up the mountain, we could hear the sounds of the bells that ring while the cattle graze.

Second, the bells are decorated to identify the farmer, so that the herder can bring together all the cows that belong to each farmer.

In fact, herders run the cattle right through town to take them to and from grazing pastures. It is quite a spectacle. First you hear the bells clanging and getting louder as they get closer. Then the herd runs by on the cobblestone streets.

This brings us to the final experience – the sight and smell of what gets left behind by the cows! Watch where you step, until the street gets washed down!

Cattle enjoying the grass at the base of the ski hill

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